At least eight members of the U.S. National Guard have been arrested for smuggling undocumented immigrants in the last 10 years.
In the last 10 years at least eight members of the U.S. National Guard have been arrested for smuggling undocumented immigrants after being paid up to 3,000 dollars per person, according to data from the National Guard and the Border Patrol.
Five of them worked in Texas, the state in which Governor Rick Perry ordered the deployment of the National Guard to prevent undocumented immigrants from entering the United States and to fight drug trafficking, a decision criticized by Mexico’s government.
Last week Eric Alexander Rodríguez, 20, of Fort Hood, was arrested by the Border Patrol at a checkpoint in Sarita, Texas, when he tried to smuggle two undocumented immigrants while in service and wearing the uniform of the National Guard.
According to a Border Patrol report, the two immigrants were hidden under the back seat of his truck, covered with a sheet and a military jacket with the name of Rodríguez embroidered on it. Rodríguez was sent to the jail of Cameron county and could face a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
In June last year the Border Patrol stopped two people at a checkpoint in New Mexico, including Carlos Vives Feliciano, a member of the National Guard from Fort Bliss, Texas, for their involvement in an immigrant smuggling ring linked to a transnational criminal organization.
In August 2008, the Border Police arrested a member of the National Guard at a checkpoint in Willcox, Arizona while trying to smuggle four illegal immigrants in the Stratus with Mexican plates that he was driving.
A year earlier, in June 2007, three members of the National Guard assigned to fight illegal immigration were arrested for coordinating the smuggling of undocumented immigrants through text messages.
José Rodrigo Torres, Clarence Hodge Jr. and Julio César Pacheco charged from 1,000 to 3,000 dollars to smuggle illegal aliens. Authorities identified at least seven trips in which the members of the National Guard participated. One of them involved 24 undocumented immigrants, and they had previously managed to smuggle 88 people into the United States.
In March 2005, a member of the National Guard was arrested for transporting illegal immigrants posing as a U.S. Army recruiter.
Also, prosecutors accused Adolfo Adrián Santacruz, 29, of charging 400 dollars for transporting two people to try to circumvent checkpoints while wearing his National Guard uniform.
Furthermore, in April 2004, the Border Patrol stopped arrested a member of the National Guard from Davis Monthan Base in Tucson, Arizona, for smuggling five undocumented immigrants in his Jeep Grand Cherokee.
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